Organist Wil Blades was in Seattle for one of the last jazz concerts before the pandemic shutdown closed the clubs. He joined saxophonist Skerik and legendary drummer Mike Clark at The Royal Room on Feb. 28.
Two weeks later, the club was closed until further notice. To help ease the pain, get a full dose of Vitamin B3 from Blades’ Hammond organ (and clavinet and synthesizers) streaming live into your home Saturday night.
Yours truly was out of town for that most recent Royal Room show, but I was honored to introduce him and drummer Scott Amendola with their friends at Rhe Triple Door last fall. That show celebrated their new album, Everybody Wins, and Blades has other recent releases and re-issues for fans to enjoy while the concert moratorium continues.
Wil Blades plays with drummer Adam Deitch’s quartet on their 2019 album Egyptian Secrets. Just this year, Blades' 2012 duets album, Shimmy, with drummer Billy Martin was re-issued on vinyl and became available on streaming services for the first time.
Recently, Blades announced that his great 2014 trio record, Field Notes, had been restocked on vinyl. It might be sold out at his page, but you’ll find it at the Royal Potato Family Records website.
Buying music directly from artists (i.e.: Wil's online store) is a great way to support them, as you know. If you already have all the records you can handle, remember that the gift of music can create musical connections with family and friends across town and around the world.
Another way to put money in musicians’ pockets and find yourself as close to the live concert experience as you can get is through streaming content. Mr. Blades has plenty to offer here, as well.
He recently shared footage of the Adam Deitch Quartet’s album release party from last September, and you can still watch a just released concert with Blades playing at One Eyed Jack’s in New Orleans with drummer Stanton Moore, guitarist Eric Krasno and saxophonist Karl Denson back in 2016.
Saturday’s livestreaming concert will be from Wil Blades’ apartment/home studio in Los Angeles, hosted by Seattle’s liveconcertsstream.com. This solo organ/clavinet/synth show preceeds a new Wil Blades single produced by Otis McDonald through the SongAid charity soon.
Chip in with a little extra support during the performance, as Blades will be donating a portion of the evening's proceeds to the nonprofit 100 Black Men of Los Angeles,working to improve the quality of life for African Americans and other minorities through the enhancement of educational and economic opportunities within the L.A. community.
I’ll be watching after I wrap up The New Cool broadcast that afternoon, where I’ll be spinning some Wil Blades music, of course. Tune in for the fun!
The New Cool airs Saturdays from 3 to 5 p.m., hosted by Abe Beeson and produced by KNKX Public Radio in Seattle.